NORA News April 2023

Dear NORA community,

This time, just some brief information about current actions and a reminder to the call for abstracts for NORA 5 in autumn this year. Most of you are starting field work, and we hope that it will be a successful season. Autumn and winter season have obviously been used for publishing – some very interesting articles have been launched. Please take a closer look at the end of the newsletter.

The Organisation and Selection Committees for NORA 5 wait in the wings to receive your abstracts and to plan the programme for the NORA conference in November. Your contributions are welcome. And as in the years before, we intend to gather for a student meeting on the first day of the conference. We will keep you updated.

The UN Decade launched a new call for actions, targeting the Decade Challenge 2 – Ecosystem restoration and Management. A good opportunity for oyster restoration initiatives to hop on and join the UN decade movement – see below.

All the best,
The NORA Secretariat

NORA Activities

NORA 5 – Call for abstracts now open

NORA 5 will take place from 6 to 8 November 2023 in Middelburg, The Netherlands. The Organising Committee invites participants to submit their abstracts for talks and posters on the following topics:

  • production
  • genetics
  • monitoring methods
  • biosecurity
  • historical ecology and site selection
  • results of restoration pilots and scaling-up methods
  • ecosystem services
  • stakeholder involvement

More information and the abstract template can be found on the NORA Website.

News about NORA Genetics Working Group

NORA’s fourth Genetics Working Group meeting was held on March 27th. Twenty-two persons attended this meeting which was mainly dedicated to two presentations.  

Arnaud Tanguy (Sorbonne University, Roscoff) presented the work developed in his group, covering the following topics:

  • Family breeding aiming to improve rusticity
  • Population genomics and genome-wide association study for traits of interest
  • Control of reproduction to better synchronize gametogenesis

Christine Ewers-Saucedo (Zoological Museum, Kiel University) presented her work, based DNA extracted on ancient shells. Her research shows how “museomics” aim to understand why the European oyster has gone - and remained – extinct in the Wadden Sea.

If there is anyone interested to join the Genetics Working Group, get in touch with Pierre Boudry

Next Monitoring Working Group meeting on May 23rd

The Monitoring Working Group will meet on May 23rd, 14-16h CET. If you would like to join the group / the meeting, please get in touch with the coordinators, Joanne Preston or Boze Hancock bhancock@TNC.ORG to receive the meeting link and agenda.

Working groups

Next Monitoring Working Group meeting on May 23rd

The Monitoring Working Group will meet on May 23rd, 14-16h CET. If you would like to join the group / the meeting, please get in touch with the coordinators, Joanne Preston or Boze Hancock bhancock@TNC.ORG to receive the meeting link and agenda.

Project News

If there are any new projects or if you have interesting news, please report to the Secretariat for the next newsletter.

Seawilding, Wild Oysters Project, Solent Oyster, Ulster Wildlife, DEEP – the colleagues in UK are very active in the beginning of the season – please check their twitter feeds regularly. Some of their feeds are also retweeted on the NORA twitter account and can be found on the NORA website, even if you are not registered to Twitter. You can take a closer look here.

MAREA - MAtchmaking Restoration Ecology and Aquaculture

The Italian project MAREA in the Venice Lagoon is on the NORA website now, please take a look: MAREA Restoration and aquaculture of Ostrea edulis 

Further Activities

Ostrea Production AB announces a surplus on Ostrea edulis spat

Ostrea Production AB is happy to announce that there will be a large quantity of single spat for sale this year – about 15 mio. These are third generation broodstock from bonamia-free waters around the Koster island (Skagerrak), which is a marine reservation area. They are breed in a land-based hatchery. The spat is expected to be between 5mm to 7mm when ready for sale. But even bigger sizes will be available throughout the year.

Ostrea Production AB currently holds a surplus on spats available throughout Europe. Please contact Christian Vorbeck, managing director, for further information:

Some background information can be found on the NORA Website.

UN Decade Ocean Science for Sustainable Development launches new Call for Decade Actions No. 05/2023

The UN Decade Ocean Science for Sustainable Development regularly launches Call for Decade Actions to solicit transformative Decade Programmes and Projects that address priority topics of the UN Decade Challenges. This new Call focuses on programmes contributing to Ocean Decade Challenge 1 – Marine Pollution and Challenge 2 – Ecosystem Restoration and Management. To deliver on Challenge 2 – Ecosystem Restoration and Management,the Call is targeting Programmes submissions related to area-based management, restoration and multiple ocean stressors. In this context, decade programmes are large-scale initiatives implemented at the global or regional scale and will contribute to the achievement of Ocean Decade Challenges. They will be long-term, multi-year, and typically interdisciplinary and multi-national. Projects may be regional, national or subnational and will typically contribute to an identified Ocean Decade programme.

Please be aware: The Ocean Decade is not a funding mechanism however proponents of Decade Actions may also benefit in terms of resource mobilization and funding.

The Call was launched on April 15th and is open until 31 August.

Two virtual Q&A sessions are planned to provide interested parties with additional information on the Call for Decade Actions. The first of these sessions will be held on 04 May 2023 from 14:00h – 15:00h UTC and the second on 05 May 2023 from 7:00h – 8:00h UTC.

All necessary information and the Call for Action can be found on the Ocean Decade website.

(you should be registered to the global stakeholder forum).

UN Decade Activities can be submitted throughout the year. These are stand-alone initiatives and events like webinars, conferences, workshops, publications, or creative outputs, contributing to the UN Decade programmes or projects or to one of the Ocean Decade Challenges. The MarMenor Initiative has already submitted and conducted an activity in 2022. The current Call for Action 05/2023 seems to be a new, good opportunity for oyster restoration initiatives to submit further activities to the UN Decade.

The NORA secretariat is interested to support initiatives from the NORA community in developing, submitting and conducting UN Decade Activities. Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss opportunities.

Restoring Estuarine and Coastal Habitats – Conference in Scarborough Spa/UK

On 11th and 12th of July, the ReMeMaRe Conference 2023 will take place in Scarborough Spa, England. Visit the website for more information.


Naomi A. Kennon, Alexander Robertson-Jones, Sebastian Jemmett, Tristan Hugh-Jones, Michael C. Bell, William G. Sanderson (2023): Rotational fishing enables biodiversity recovery and provides a model for oyster (Ostrea edulis) habitat restoration. Published: March 29, 2023.

New publication in NORA Special Issue Aquatic Conservation:

Brecht Stechele, Anna Hughes, Steven Degraer, Peter Bossier, Nancy Nevejan (2023): Northern Europe's suitability for offshore European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) habitat restoration: A mechanistic niche modelling approach. First published: 25 April 2023.

Recently published articles in ALR’s NORA 4 topical issue

Pauline Kamermans, Ainhoa Blanco, Pim van Dalen, Marc Engelsma, Nienke Bakker, Pascalle Jacobs, Marco Dubbeldam, Inés M. Sambade, Manuel Vera and Paulino Martinez (2023): Bonamia-free flat oyster (Ostrea edulis L.) seed for restoration projects: non-destructive screening of broodstock, hatchery production and test for Bonamia-tolerance. Published online: 28 April 2023. DOI:


Linda Tonk, Rob Witbaard, Pim van Dalen, Chiu H. Cheng and Pauline Kamermans (2023): Applicability of the gape monitor to study flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) feeding behaviour. Published online: 01 March 2023. DOI:


Maria Hayden-Hughes, Philippa Bayford, Jonathan King and David Smyth (2023): The European native oyster, Ostrea edulis, in Wales, a historical account of a forgotten fishery. Published online: 21 February 2023. DOI: